Leeds United chief reveals £40 million saving after summer of ‘brutal’ transfer business

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Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear says the club have recouped £40 million in player wages by recovering the full salaries from several loaned-out first-team squad members this summer.

The Whites saw a number of last season’s first-team players head out on loan this summer, as a result of release clauses included in their contracts.

Due to relegation from the Premier League, several of Leeds’ internationals chose to leave Elland Road on season-long loans in order to play for top flight clubs. Chief executive Kinnear admits to being taken aback by this development, misreading just how vehemently against players were at the prospect of representing the club in the Championship.

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Speaking on The Square Ball podcast, Kinnear said: “When I’ve spoken to them, the vehemence that the players don’t want to play in the Championship has absolutely surprised me. I don’t think it’s a Leeds United thing. It’s a broader football thing. It’s about the profile of the Premier League. It’s about the money paid in the Premier League.

Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

“What we’ve seen is that players have absolutely no desire to play in the Championship. We thought we could convince them that this was a great project, that playing in the Championship and tearing it up for a season would be good for their careers and wouldn’t harm their international careers.”

Kinnear does however claim that Leeds have recouped £40 million that would otherwise have been spent on player wages.

“I’ve been naive about it but it’s been brutally disappointing at how we’ve seen players crawl over broken glass to leave our club. We’ve had a bad year but I thought there’d be a bigger emotional bond; there’d be a desire to put right the bad seasons they had last year.

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“But out of the players that we’ve lost — and I think Daniel [Farke] would agree with this — the majority aren’t regretted losses for the project we want. We’ve saved £40 million in wages and brought in players who really want to be here,” the chief executive added.